The very best of the UK’s £46.1 billion maritime sector were celebrated at last night’s Maritime UK Awards in Plymouth.
Thousands of industry professionals watched online as the ceremony, hosted by British sailor Dee Caffari, was broadcast from The Box, the city’s new museum, art gallery and cultural hub. Fittingly, the awards were given out against a backdrop of the museum’s spectacular display of 300 ships’ badges, underneath the collection of Royal Naval figureheads suspended from the ceiling.
Fourteen awards were given out at the second annual ceremony, which celebrates businesses and organisations from the entire spectrum of the sector – from leisure to shipping, professional services to ports and engineering to science and advanced manufacturing.
Held with the support of Plymouth City Council, the awards ceremony moved online this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
The virtual event included contributions from Maritime UK’s patron, HRH The Princess Royal, as well as the Minister for Maritime Robert Courts MP, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP, Exports Minister Graham Stuart MP and Shadow Environment Secretary and local Plymouth MP Luke Pollard.
For the first time, the awards embraced the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Awards, which were established to recognise progress being made by the sector to get to net zero carbon emissions. These awards recognised operators of ports and shipping companies, companies innovating new solutions and those helping enable others to make progress through collaboration, financing, or provision of services.
Minister for Maritime, Robert Courts MP said:
“The 2020 Maritime UK Awards is a fantastic opportunity for the maritime sector to come together to celebrate its achievements, particularly its significant contribution to the UK’s Covid-19 response, and support for future talent.
“Decarbonising shipping is essential to achieve the target of net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050, and the clean maritime sector offers a huge opportunity for Britain to build back greener. By winning our DfT Clean Maritime Awards, Babcock International and the Port of Tyne shine a light on the great progress being made by our world leading sector in moving towards net-zero and a more sustainable industry.”
Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Tudor Evans said:
“What a line-up, what a backdrop and what a brilliant opportunity for us to showcase our flourishing sector, which supports 10,669 jobs and contributes £572 million to the economy in Plymouth.
“We were incredibly proud to host the prestigious second annual Maritime UK awards this year, albeit virtually. In these difficult times it is especially important to celebrate success so I’d like to extend huge congratulations to all the winners, who exemplify the levels of creativity and innovation in the industry.”
Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK added:
“We were incredibly pleased to be able to bring the 2020 Maritime UK Awards to Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City despite the challenges presented by the current COVID lockdown. We are proud of the many outstanding achievements of businesses and organisations across the maritime sector and were delighted at the opportunity to celebrate this excellence last night.
“The maritime sector is facing a time of significant and fundamental change, and it is encouraging to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise to tackle these new challenges are present in the UK right now and in some abundance. I would like to congratulate all the winners and shortlisted finalists on their tremendous achievements and hope to celebrate with you all, in person, in Glasgow next year.”
The winners, selected by an expert panel of judges from across the maritime sector, were:
This year’s Awards were supported by Diamond sponsors MLA College and the University of Plymouth, as well as category sponsors Thales UK, Nautilus International, Western Union, Norton Rose Fulbright, the Department for Transport, the Department for International Trade, UKNEST, Chevron, Bachmann Group, Artemis Technologies, the UK Ship Register and the Royal Navy.
As part of the evening’s event, it was also announced that the 2021 Maritime UK Awards will be taking place in Glasgow, recognising to the city’s shipbuilding heritage and contemporary role in driving the sector forward, including in world-class training and advanced manufacturing. In an effort to showcase the strength of the maritime sector across every corner of the UK, the awards are held in a different maritime region every year.
The 2021 Awards will align with COP26 which is due to be hosted in the same city and will increase its focus on green growth and maritime decarbonisation, following on from the inclusion of the Department of Transport’s Clean Maritime Awards at this year’s event.